Nearly $3.5 Million Available to Iowa Producers through MRBI
April 10, 2012 — Through a special water quality initiative, the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering increased financial assistance rates for key practices like cover crops, bioreactors, grade stabilization structures, terraces and waste storage facilities in 13 project areas within the Mississippi River Basin. Iowa is one of 12 states participating in the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI).
Nearly $3.5 million is available through MRBI in the following counties: Buena Vista, Clayton, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Floyd, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Humboldt, Jackson, Jones, Kossuth, Mitchell, Pocahontas, Wayne, Webster and Wright. Funding is for fiscal year 2012 contracts. Farmers in those counties should contact their local USDA Service Center for more information.
"Through these contracts producers will implement a system of conservation practices that will control soil erosion, improve soil quality, and provide wildlife habitat," said Richard Sims, Iowa State Conservationist. "These local water quality improvements will have positive impacts further downstream, throughout the Mississippi River Basin."
The MRBI is assisting NRCS and its conservation partners in expanding their capacity to improve water quality and treat other natural resource concerns throughout the Mississippi River basin.
In addition to avoiding, controlling and trapping nutrient runoff, participating farmers and landowners voluntarily implement conservation practices that improve wildlife habitat; restore wetlands; and maintain agricultural productivity. These conservation practices are carried out in a site-specific manner to create a system that addresses natural resource concerns and fits within the operational needs of the farm.
Key conservation practices include nutrient management, conservation crop rotation and residue and tillage management. Farmers and landowners can also use other conservation practices such as restoring wetlands, planting trees along streams to filter nutrients out of water draining off the farm, and drainage water management.
MRBI is offered in the following states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Partner organizations participating in the initiative will contribute additional financial resources.
Since 1935, the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.
Dave Brommel, MRBI Coordinator